• Phosphorus Supply Is Increasingly Disrupted – We Are Sleepwalking into a Global Food Crisis

    Without phosphorus food cannot be produced, since all plants and animals need it to grow. Put simply: if there is no phosphorus, there is no life. All farmers therefore need access to it, but 85% of the world’s remaining high-grade phosphate rock is concentrated in just five countries, making the global food system extremely vulnerable to disruptions.

  • A Water War Is Brewing Over the Dwindling Colorado River

    Diminished by climate change and overuse, the river can no longer provide the water states try to take from it.

  • Weather Is Again Determining Economic Outcomes

    Europe’s energy crisis has brought the return of weather-based economics. “The crisis is a reminder that, for all their technological sophistication, even rich-world economies must rely on the munificence of nature,” the Economist writes, adding that “in the absence of a transition to green forms of energy the weather would begin to play an even bigger role in economics.”

  • Cryptocurrency Crashes Recall the Wild Days of “Free Banking”

    The U.S. used to have hundreds of unregulated private currencies backed by shaky assets. Sound familiar?

  • To Quit Russian Gas, EU Invests Billions in LNG

    The European Union is investing billions in infrastructure in its effort to replace Russian fuels with liquefied natural gas. This could prove to be a dead end — both for taxpayers and for the climate.

  • 2022’s U.S. Climate Disasters: A Tale of Too Much Rain – and Too Little

    The year 2022 will be remembered across the U.S. for its devastating flooding and storms – and also for its extreme heat waves and droughts, including one so severe it briefly shut down traffic on the Mississippi River.

  • Washington’s Semiconductor Sanctions Won’t Slow China’s Military Build-Up

    Advanced semiconductors underpin everything from autonomous vehicles to hypersonic weapon systems. Chips are imperative to the defense industry and technologies of the future. By targeting this critical input, the Biden administration aims to freeze China’s semiconductor suite at 2022 levels and impede its military development. Despite the bleak short-term outlook, it is wrong to assume that US controls will hobble China for years.

  • The Right Time for Chip Export Controls

    On Oct. 7, the U.S.-China tech competition heated up dramatically when the Biden administration imposed wide-ranging semiconductor-related export controls on China. Martijn Rasser and Kevin Wolf write that “There is no crystal ball that can divine the outcome, given how unprecedented and wide ranging these actions are.” They add: “The Biden administration made the right call by acting now, particularly if it is successful at getting allied cooperation on the essence of the rules soon.”

  • Energy, War, and the Crisis in Ukraine

    Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is having a global impact on many areas of the world today, affecting the balance of power among states and creating a contest between democratic and authoritarian alliances. It is also having a major impact on the global energy supply. An expert panel examined the implications of energy use and energy policy during Russia’s invasion.

  • Record Low Water Levels on the Mississippi River in 2022 Show How Climate Change Is Altering Large Rivers

    In 2022, water levels in some of the world’s largest rivers, including the Rhine in Europe and the Yangtze in China, fell to historically low levels. The Mississippi River fell so low in Memphis, Tennessee, in mid-October that barges were unable to float, requiring dredging and special water releases from upstream reservoirs to keep channels navigable.

  • The Global Race to Secure Critical Minerals Heats Up

    The World Trade Organization last week ruled that Indonesia had no right to ban the export of nickel or to require that raw nickel ore be refined in Indonesia. Handing a comprehensive victory to the complainant, the European Union, the WTO decision highlights the clash between national security and global trade rules over critical minerals.

  • The World’s Insurance Bill from Natural Disasters This Year: $115 Billion

    Extreme weather events have caused an estimated $115 billion in insured financial losses around the world this year according to Swiss Re, the Zurich-based reinsurance giant. That’s 42 percent higher than the 10-year average of $81 billion.

  • Australia and Its Partners Must Do more to Avoid Dependence on China for Rare Earths

    Low labor costs, indifference to the environmental impacts of mineral processing, and the rest of the world dropping the ball while focusing on other issues allowed Beijing to achieve global dominance of critical-minerals markets, with almost 80% control of rare earths and up to 94% of other critical minerals like magnesium. The global markets for rare-earth elements and critical minerals are shaping to be the next economic hot zone for the Chinese Communist Party—and for the security of the world’s advanced economies.

  • New ‘Faraday Cage’ Research Facility to Help Combat Digital Crime

    University of Huddersfield installing a new facility named the ‘Faraday Cage’ which will help speed-up the development and testing of new digital forensic processes to help law enforcement meet the huge growth rate in digital crime.

  • Is Industrial Policy Making a Comeback?

    Industrial policy refers to government efforts to support particular industries that are considered strategically important, such as manufacturing. It has been employed in many countries, including the United States, though it fell out of favor in the 1980s. The Biden administration has pushed to support advanced manufacturing amid the COVID-19 pandemic, tumult in global supply chains, and the rise of China., in the process renewing the debate about the U.S. government’s role in shaping the economy.